During Downtime

Most software testers are quick on their toes when critical issues arise. When a major bug gets reported on the Live version of the app, she immediately goes to the available programmer to sort it out as soon as possible. When the boss commands what feature needs to be released ASAP (so they say), she automatically gathers her team to tell them they need to work double, no, triple-time starting now. When a client is starting to get angry with a feature that was previously working perfectly, she instantly thinks of any possible workaround and promises a fix in a flash. A serious bug appears after a release and she gets around to fixing it quickly before anyone is able to notice. Almost all testers are actually good in such situations, when everyone is tensed, when there are pressing matters that needs resolution, when there is a need to react pronto.

The same software testers however are often not as good during downtime. When there’s no email to reply to promptly, when a feature is currently in its planning stages, when there’s time to sort out the test scripts, when regression testing is still ongoing, there is a tendency to let small issues slide by. When there’s no adrenaline to push them into action, they stay idle. When there’s nothing to react to, they forget to let their creativity run free.

It is not obvious but what software testers do during their free time seems to be a more telling tale of their abilities than what they show during times of crisis.

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